History & Philosophy

Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy is a blend of modern research and ancient Japanese natural movement orientated ‘hands on’ therapeutic techniques dating back over 2,000 years. The ‘feeling’ and principles taught today directly derive from Dr Hatsumi and the ancient school of Hichi Buku Goshin Jutsu Ryu. This is a school of the breathing and physical techniques of one of the ancient traditional healing arts of Japan. It translates as ‘The secret flower opening school for the defence of the self’.

The school’s ancient principles form the scrolls called the Tatara meaning ‘sky harbour’ or literally ‘divine residence and God’s port’. These principles are a collaboration of martial arts, medicine, philosophy, strategy and religion that have been practised in Japan for over 2,000 years. Until recently, the knowledge and skills were shared with only a handful of people in each generation and have been passed down over the years in an unbroken chain. The present day head of the Tatara is Dr Masaaki Hatsumi of Noda City, Japan.

Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy’s breakthrough in the west began in 1986 when Dennis Bartram first discovered Dr Hatsumi’s work, and then in 1995 when Dennis, William Doolan and Christopher Roworth made history as the first non-Japanese therapists to be taught the ancient healing principles of the Tatara by Dr Hatsumi. They were all granted Menkyo Kaiden (full teaching rights) of the ancient school as a result of Dennis Bartram’s personal work and research. These teachings are now underpinned within a western scientific framework, and are available today as Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy, which is taught by ATA approved schools..

The philosophy

The go-dai:

One of the principle philosophies of Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy is that of the Go-dai.

Go-dai means the ‘Big Five’ and it focuses on the inter-reaction of the five major body systems. These are:

  • Physical – structure, bones, muscles, ligaments, viscera
  • Mental – thought processes, emotions, beliefs and values
  • Electrical – energy systems, nervous system and energy levels
  • Chemical – hormones, digestive system and the food you eat
  • Environmental – where, when and how you do what you do

In essence, the principle is that none of these systems work in isolation, they are interconnected. Therefore, treating with Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy techniques will have an impact not only on the physical, but on all of the other systems.

It is becoming well documented that our emotions and the physical body are interconnected. For example, we are all familiar with the likelihood of stress or mental anxiety leading to physical tension in a part of the body such as the neck and shoulders. Similarly, our energy levels (and/or digestive system) can be affected by physical pain in our joints or muscles and the postural choices that we make at work or in the car can lead to tension and pain in the body.  Thus everything within the body is linked and Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy treats the body as a whole rather than just the individual symptoms. In today’s modern world where many of us live with consistently high levels of stress, it is vital for this to be taken into account within any treatment that you may receive.

By treating the whole body, all of the elements will be able to work together to regain better health, function and balance. Regaining the natural, healthy patterns relevant to you is the aim of every Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy treatment (balance).


Gairon is the foundation of Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy.

It is pronounced Guy-ron which loosely translates to mean “the bigger picture, consider everything, discount nothing, use the best available and find that which is not obvious.” Therefore your Amatsu practitioner is trained to consider the bigger picture of any problem or symptom. For example; a bad knee could be because of a direct injury on the knee. However, it is also likely that the posture (total body position) and the natural walking and standing pattern of the client has led to the progressive damage and degeneration of the knee, therefore creating a vulnerable area.

Amatsu Orthopathic Therapy is different because it considers not only the localised condition within the knee, but also the bigger picture of the other stresses, strains and torsions that are placed on the knee by the whole body.

“It’s all in your walk, you must find it in nature, it must come from your heart and if you don’t understand Gairon, then you can’t continue

Dr. Hatsumi PHD